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Two Stories

Shane Kowalski

All-Time Champion

        My apartment was right across from the couple who would fuck every night. It was amazing. How they’d keep the lights on. How sometimes it would just start out of nowhere.
        One night, he was saying something to her, and she said something back, and then after a pause and him saying something else, he grabbed her quickly, held her against the wall, yanked her pants down, and gave her a brisk, hard spanking until she thrashed so much, he pulled her back into him and they fucked passionately, guilelessly. With the television still on. All the lights on.

        My life had resulted in redundancies mostly. I was always a step behind a version of me out there that was just that much better at everything. A better friend, better worker, better renter, better son, better lover. I had a short-lived romantic partner once tell me they thought they saw me stranded on the side of the road next to a busted down car, even though I was sitting right next to them in the passenger seat.

Rain Out

        I was chained to the bedpost very tightly. The bed was high enough and the chain low enough that seeing the irrumation was hard. Every now and then I’d ask but was denied.
        It was the summer of 2013. The years no longer linger in slow panoramas. Now they butt in and baffle the senses. A hotel room in DC after a Nationals game that was rained out: vacuumed smell of the floor, his and hers vanity in the bathroom, water-stained mirror…I barely remember anything else. Desperate for any permission, I just listened.
        It is quite possible somebody, just in the next room, chained to their own bed, was forced to hear me all my life.

Shane Kowalski lives in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Small Moods (Future Tense Books).

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